E3 2016: Dawn of War III – epic battles look simply gorgeous

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I have absolutely zero experience with the Dawn of War series. There, I said it!

Can you blame me though? Warhammer 40K, the tabletop franchise the RTS is based off, has been around for almost three decades now. Thinking about all the lore that exists makes my head spin!

After having seen Dawn of War III in action at E3 however, I think I’m ready to take the plunge into the world if 40K. It’s futuristic, brutal, and oh so beautifully chaotic – even in its pre-alpha state. That, and the game itself looks like a lot of fun to play.

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The preview kicked off with the player controlling a Space Marine leader called Gabriel Angelos, who I’m told is a returning character. He finds himself all alone on a frozen planet. Despite warnings from an ally, Lady Solaria, to hold back, he barges off into battle.

And damn, is he capable of taking and dishing out tons of damage. Being a hero unit, Angelos is well armoured, and has good few abilities up his sleeves. He wields a war hammer (ha!) that has several uses. He can flip it up into the air for example, and bring it crashing down again to do a huge whackload of AOE damage to nearby enemies.

His next move is similar, except it has environmental applications, such as allowing him to leap across chasms or map obstacles. In the demo for example, enemies shot at him from atop a hill. Gabriel leapt up and brought his hammer down with a smash, making short work of them.

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After killing literally dozens of enemies, Gabriel is then joined by his ally, Lady Solaria. She pilots a huge suit of armour, that somehow proves to be even more of a killing tool than the hammer I just saw in action.

Ok I say somehow, but it really isn’t surprising. Solaria is huge – she towers over Gabriel as if he’s a small puppy! We are told that the she is one of the game’s super units – the biggest that’s ever been produced.

If I thought I’d seen enough Eldar blood to last me a life time, I was wrong. Lady Solaria turns even more of them into mincemeat with her dual gatling gun ability. As if that wasn’t destructive enough, she’s also capable of firing off several rockets for some delicious AOE goodness.

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With the two hero units on offense, the Elder army really don’t stand a chance. Soon though, they bolster their ranks, and Gabriel and Solaria are no longer strong enough to take them all on alone.

We are briefly shown some of the base building mechanics, and before I know it, I’m witnessing battles of epic proportions. Gabriel swung his hammer, Solaris fired off all of her huge weapons, and the smaller forces took part in their own wild skirmishes – all on the same screen.

This right here is where  I think fell in love with the game. I’m not the biggest RTS fan, but I do enjoy the likes of StarCraft for example. How I’ve never played a Dawn of War title before is beyond me. The chaos that took place on that screen looked really, really enticing, and gorgeous too I might add.

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How Dawn of War III compares to previous games in the franchise, I can’t say. What I can say though is that it’s looking mighty excellent thus far.

I mean, if it appeals to me – somebody who’s never dabbled with 40K before – how then, will fans feel about it? I’m pretty sure they’ll love what they see when the game launches in 2017.

Last Updated: June 24, 2016

Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES! :D

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